The annual Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), hosted by the Zell Lurie Institute at Michigan Ross, encourages entrepreneurship among students across the 19 schools and colleges at the University of Michigan. Throughout the multi-round competition, graduate and undergraduate students create solid business plans around their entrepreneurial solutions to real-world problems.
The 2022 Michigan Business Challenge boasts three distinct tracks of competition to reflect the depth and breadth of U-M ventures:
- The Seigle Impact Track recognizes the business that best pursues a mission-driven goal and aims to stimulate the creation of new businesses, products or services that prioritize social and/or environmental considerations.
- The Innovation Track recognizes new ventures that offer a product, service, mobile application, or platform serving consumers or enterprises.
- The Invention Track recognizes ventures that have intellectual property at the core of their high-tech venture and aims to stimulate the creation of new businesses in life sciences, physical sciences, mobility, AR/VR, and more.
Students participating in MBC are taken through the entire cycle of new venture creation from writing a comprehensive business plan to composing a strong pitch. During each round, students pitched to panels of judges comprised of accomplished entrepreneurs and investors. Congratulations to the 2022 Michigan Business Challenge winners:
Seigle Impact Track
Seigle Impact First Place – Great Quality Development, a startup aiming to promote greater engagement between developers and communities in Detroit without marginalizing those already present. Founded by Hattie McKinney, JD ’22.
Second Place – Clear Computing, helping older adults learn how to use technology to better their quality of life and extend their independence. Founded by James Giordani, MSW ’22.
Pryor-Hale First Place Innovation Track – BotNot, a new venture helping brands increase lifetime value, brand affinity, and data accuracy by prioritizing loyal consumers over bots and resellers. Founded by Jordan Shamir, MBA ’23.
Second Place – Phonica, providing a secure, HIPAA-compliant digital platform that uses AI to help speech therapists track their clients’ progress and offer more engaging, effective, and personalized therapy. Cofounded by Akhil Kondepudi (BS ‘22), Tejas Gumudavelly (BBA ‘24), Rohan Kodati (BSE ‘24), and Felix Hu (BS ‘23).
Pryor-Hale First Place Invention Track – MedVision, a real-time healthcare inventory management system tracking medical supplies through custom IoT smart shelving and a connected SaaS platform. Cofounded by Anurag Bolneni (MSI ‘22), Raghu Arghal (MSE/BSE ‘20), and Grant Veldhuis (BSE ‘23).
Second Place – Arbor Simulation, aiming to improve patient care by advancing simulation through novel evidence-based training tools that support medical learners and practicing healthcare professionals. Cofounded by Dylan Rushton (MSE ’21) and Kiran Rushton (BBA ’22).
OneMagnify Best in Business Award
Sillman Undergraduate Award
Williamson Award for Outstanding Cross-Functional Team
Pinkert Healthcare Award
MIC Investment Prize
MBC Elevator Pitch
First Place – Clear Computing
Second Place – tie – Green and Seconds Labs
“The pandemic has created an awareness amongst our students that nothing is ever set in stone. The traditional career path that seemed stable and strong may have a rocky foundation hidden underneath. With this shift, it is easier for students to take an entrepreneurial leap with the deeper understanding that every career decision is a balance of risk and reward,” says Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute. “A student entrepreneur is in a relatively low-risk space – attending a university surrounded by resources, mentors, and peers dedicated to their success.”
Congratulations to all of the 2022 Michigan Business Challenge student teams! The calculated risks taken throughout the competition have honed your ability to pinpoint any probable negative outcomes and create actionable plans for the future.
About Zell Lurie
The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan brings together a potent mix of knowledge, experience and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments. The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs and events that provide viable networks and engage the business community.